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How does Arthur Miller use the play format to show that Eddie is protective and possessive of Catherine in a View from the Bridge?

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Introduction

How does Arthur Miller use the play format to show that Eddie is protective and possessive of Catherine in a View from the Bridge? The play 'a View from the Bridge' was set in the 1950's in the area of Red Hook in Brooklyn, New York. A lot of Italian and Sicilian immigrants lived in this area. As there weren't as many jobs for people in Italy at that time the Italians had no other choice but to immigrate, and where better to immigrate but to America. In those times everyone wished to live the American dream. But most of the Italians were grateful just to settle for half. Alfieri says- Most of the time we settle for half and I like it better. Even as I know how wrong he was, and his death useless, I tremble, for I confess that something perversely pure calls to me from his memory-not purely good, but himself purely and yet, it is better to settle for half, it must be! And so I mourn him-I admit it-with a certain alarm. This shows that Eddie was his whole self during the play rather than being half for his community, Eddie's actions within the play are completely motivated by his own desires at the expense of others. Alfieri admires this but also is alarmed by it. The title of this play suggests we are looking down to this community from the Brooklyn Bridge. The significance of this is that Alfieri is symbolic of a person on the bridge looking down upon the Red Hook community or maybe he is the bridge himself, allowing the people to cross into Manhattan, American culture. ...read more.

Middle

We see immediate attraction between Catherine and Rodolpho when he starts singing. Although he is not singing directly towards her we can obviously see the flirty notations in the lyrics are meant for Catherine. We see the envy in Eddie's eyes and the anger boiling up, especially when he interrupts Rodolpho singing and explains how they're immigrants and shouldn't be making too much noise as they wouldn't want to be 'picked up'. But really we know that Eddie's flaw is being exposed as Catherine is paying more attention to Rodolpho. At this point Eddie's innocent protectiveness is no longer visible, and we are now able to see the flaw coming through and that his protectiveness is slowly turning into possessiveness without him realizing. We first see this when Eddie relates to Catherine as 'Garbo'. Miller uses the actress Greta Garbo, a sex icon in that time, to show how Eddie thinks Catherine is growing into a woman too fast. Eddie obviously has hatred towards Rodolpho and tries to show Beatrice and Catherine how he is not suitable to marry Catherine. He says how Rodolpho is 'not right' and a 'chorus girl', trying to convince everyone that he is homosexual. He also uses Rodolpho's good qualities against him. He can cook, sing and sew, these attract Catherine to Rodolpho but Eddie conveys this as him being gay. This then leads Eddie to explain to Catherine that the only reason Eddie is considering marrying her is because he wants to stay in America and have a valid passport. ...read more.

Conclusion

But Eddie is defiant. He wants his name, and his respect back. This flaw creates the tragic death Eddie was always destined for. Eddie turns to stab Marco but Marco's strength show once again and the knife is sent back in Eddie's direction. At the time of his death Eddie says - 'Oh, B! My B!' This shows us however much Eddie was possessive over Catherine he thought about Beatrice in his last moments. Eddie constantly dominates Beatrice throughout the play, but in this tiny moment Eddie needs Beatrice more than she needs him. It is the first time we hears that Eddie honestly needs Beatrice. This shows us that although Eddie gave Catherine the most attention he chose his last dying words for his wife and died in her arms. From the play format we can tell that Eddie is possessive over Catherine. This is shown through many different ways such as- language, actions, stage directions and emotions. Although protectiveness was shown at the start of the play his possessiveness grew as the love between Catherine and Rodolpho blossomed. In my opinion Eddie was a man who would always be lead by his tragic flaw to do drastic things in order to fulfill that flaw. He would be lead by fate towards a death which could not be escaped, relating back to Arthur Millers objective; a Greek tragedy. Miller doesn't blatantly show Eddie having feelings towards Catherine but he shows hidden meanings in the stage directions and slowly leading up to Eddie's own actions. Arthur Miller uses the play format to show Eddie's flaw 'too much love,' although he does want to portray Eddie as being the hero of the play. Samia Rashid 10BBE ...read more.

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